Portugal is not Spain

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

When on the Iberian Peninsula, never confuse one country for the other. Different language, different food, different wines…and driving styles.
Portuges sounds like French with some German guttural sounds; total gibberish but semi- readable with some Spanish knowledge. The average Portuguese prefer French before English as a second language.

They like a lot of fish, but also tripe!! And pork over beef.They are proud of their pastries and bread and red local wine,which is cheaper than cola.
Grapes, collards, kiwi, apples, and citrus grow in most yards and we also saw many a family cow kept in the garage. Dining doesn’t happen until 7:00 but 9:00 in the bigger cities. Partying goes til dawn and the work force takes their time getting to their job.

Portugese (male) drivers prefer the entire road and seem to make it a sport to scare pilgrim hikers into the ditch. Close calls are the norm and eyes at the back of your head are essential! And they prefer cobbles over asphalt on all roads but freeways.

Lots of special cities and villages that I’ve never heard are proud of their uniqueness and are immaculate as far as litter goes but don’t stand still long or you will be covered with graffiti; everywhere and nothing is sacred.
It’s been a lesson in culture but that’s what traveling is all about.

Being on the Board

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

SEEDS: Sending economic encouragement to the distressed. It’s about making a difference!

What a privilege to serve on a Board of Directors. ( I serve on two but this one has my heart at the moment) This group of special ladies created from scratch an organization that has given over $350,000 to deserving groups that seek to improve and encourage those very less fortunate than I. Without leaving home, I have had a part of bringing air conditioning and heat to a refugee center in Greece, Christ-centered curriculum to South American countries starting in Bolivia, and a safe haven for sex-trafficed girls right in my home town. 18 grants in all over the last 10 years; at home and all over the world.

Creating a giving circle was all it took! ( and a lot of love and hard work) We got our friends to join us in pooling their money so that we might make a bigger impact! Through the process of vetting worthy charities, we also became better friends, enlarged our hearts, and pitched in with our labors.
We thought that worthy of a celebration!

A Dry Season

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Life without travel and adventures beyond can cause one’s juices for the unknown to evaporate! Meaning; I’m stuck at home with a kitchen remodel and I miss the wanderlust of being gone for weeks at a time. Help! I am investing myself in my volunteer work, and picking out appliances, and loving on my grandchildren BUT there is just something about heading into the unknown with your best friend by your side and delving into the history, culture, food and drink of a new territory.Added to that is total dependence on each other and prayer as you share these experiences.
In the mean time we are finding new trails to hike,looking for Autumn, following others on FB who are exploring, and thinking about walking the Way of St. Francis the length of Italy, God willing. (it’s gotta have Italy in it!)

Focus on Colorado Springs

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Focus On The Family Visitors CenterPart of us lives in Colorado. At least one month a year. Our volunteer work over the last 6 years has filled our lives with forever friends and given us a small bit of the good feeling that comes from helping a great cause.
I am about FAMiLY; as God meant it to be, and that needs all the encouragement possible as it is attacked on every level.
This year , July 2018,we worked hard on the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet at a beautiful ranch in the yet undeveloped part of Colorado Springs. Barbecue under the stars, Greg Smalley as speaker, square dancing, and a s’mores bar! We boot scooted our western garb (shopped for at thrift shops) and tied burlap and sunflowers to anything that wasn’t moving. Storms threatened but God provided a clear evening and a hand painted sunset as His seal of approval on the evening.
Hard work…good times!

Family time is a Holiday anytime of Year

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Now that we are spread apart by an ocean, being together as a family has to be the Easter,Thanksgiving,Christmas, birthdays all rolled into one that we would miss because of distance. So it has to have food, decorations, games, and maybe even costumes! Oh and lots of photos because everyone is growing: Up, Older,(Wider?) and we want to preserve that moment to look back on and remind the youngest ones that they are part of a loving family…warts and all!

Searching for Autumn

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

When the weather cools down and the days get shorter, the leaves stop producing food for the tree. Then chlorophyll breaks down and the green fades revealing the underlying yellow and orange. Other chemical changes will bring out the bright red in some species.  Needless to say, it’s my favorite season of the year!

To fill the void that occurs when you live in San Diego, we’ve hit the road for the Northeastern part of the U.S. and Canada. It’s been bittersweet because the folks in that part of the world are rejoicing in an Indian summer; unseasonably warm weather muted the colors, eliminated most of the red, and much of the foliage went from green to brown. What has been fun to watch is the preparation for winter; park benches are being removed, construction is frantically being finished up, tours and tourist spots are closed, and only winter clothing is in the stores despite the lingering appearance of shorts and t-shirts.  But there are lots of people wandering the streets with the buskers performing and side walk dining still happening while the sun shines.  I’m taking photos of lone coloring trees and only focus on the pretty parts and rejoice that I don’t have to rake it all up!

Don’t Look Back

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Something has been put before me multiple times in the last weeks, so I finally had to write about it and confess.

A month ago I heard a powerful speaker talk about Christ returning on Rosh Hashana. All the New and Old Testament verses he knew by heart and it certainly looked like a sure thing for this past September. And even tho’ we don’t know the day or the hour, Rosh Hashana is a 3 day holiday so there was wiggle room, and the speaker was pre-trib because Jesus would not let His followers suffer. Plans for the second temple, the coronal mass that was ejected from the sun that was headed to earth a week ago, the cell phones that would enable the whole world to see Christ return in the clouds, Psalm 27 that the Jews read everyday leading up to the Feast was my Bible verse for the day he spoke, the comic I was sent on Facebook showing the rapture…you name it, it was all lining up. But I was frightened, and every ounce of my being tensed and I was so puzzled by my reaction I was FEARFUL, but why?

I was afraid that like Lot’s wife, I would look back.

I’m supposed to look forward but what would make me turn?

Looking for family members?

If I was driving when it happened, what would happen to my cute little car?

I love my life, but if that was my speed bump, would God take it away? Our assets which would go to our kids but they were raptured too, so who would get it all? Who had I not shared Christ with? What good had I left undone? I have a trip on the books…

Each day leading up to Rosh Hashana were a terrible countdown for me, I didn’t even make a haircut appointment until the following week in case I didn’t need to spend the money. Shoot, I was looking forward to growing old and being a burden to my children.

Yes, the devil finds my brain a veritable playground. But maybe each of us is leaning out and holding on to something or someone.

I Googled and read “Overcoming Your Common End Time Fears.” What I learned was thru Y2K, 2012 Mayan Calendar, the blood moons, natural disasters, Jewish holy days…nobody who thought the end was near has been right so far.

God reveals in scriptures that we are given signs and warnings and we are getting a bushel of them but I see also where we are to pray and encourage above all else.

I am seeking to replace fear with comfort and approach this issue in my life with more wisdom and trust. Obviously it is a work in progress right now. I still check out the cloud formations warily.

“Trust in the Lord with all your might, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5

Oreo Cows

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Four years ago I spied some, but heavy fog kept any photo from being proof-positive. I returned to the scene last month on a brilliantly clear day, but they were in a far away pasture. No photo!

This week on the last grueling hill of the day I was rewarded in a most unexpected place; my cows! An actual breed known by that name with small herds in high scruffy places! Yeah

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Whenever you travel, the cuisine plays a part of the overall experience. Last year I was in search of the best paella and sangria.  In Ireland it was the quest for the best scone that took me to sample over 12 different creations all over the island. In England, make it sticky toffee pudding!

A favorite of a dear friend, it reminds me of her in all the best of ways and it really should make it over to the states (along with clotted cream, lemon curd, and a decent fish n chips, they can keep the marmalade).

The point being, food is part of the memories of travel and brings us back when we enjoy them again.    The scales will show we’re bringing home a LOT memories!

Friends for a Time

Monday, August 28th, 2017

The beautiful, quaint, and strenuous walk through the Cotswolds gave us so many adventures and experiences. Lovely villages along meandering streams, sheep scattering, cows challenging, grouse cavorting. Then there were the people; the older couple who open their home to one pair each night during walking season, the busload of 43 Spaniards from Valencia who crossed paths several times with us and one even offered me wine from his Boda bag (fun conversations in Spanish), the fellow walkers from Germany, Tucson, Alberta, San Francisco, and St Louis who came alongside for a mile or two or shared a meal. And there were the English who we passed going the other direction and just wanted a chat.  For a brief moment we were friends, sharing an experience and leaving a bit of themselves with us.